Meet the Vegan BLT - a satisfying combination of salty, smoky and sweet that comes in a fully loaded sandwich. It's super simple to make this classic sandwich vegan style.
Is the BLT possibly the greatest sandwich in the world??? The combination of flavors is just so right. Salty bacon flavored tofu slathered with creamy mayo sandwiched between big juicy salted tomato slices ,crisp lettuce and sourdough bread. It reminds me of food trucks and summer lunches all rolled into one.
So how do we make a vegan BLT? Is it even possible to enjoy this classic, decadent sandwich as part of a vegan lifestyle? Indeed it is!! I have tried several different versions , and am obviously giving you the recipe that's the best of the tests! Follow along while I walk you through the simple ingredients...
Ingredients You'll Need To Make A Vegan BLT:
- Tempeh: Like tofu, tempeh is a soy based food. It's made by fermenting cooked soybeans and forming them into dense patties. The great thing about tempeh is that it absorbs flavors well , so it makes a great base for any dish that has a distinct flavor - like a vegan BLT!! Tempeh is the star of this sandwich and we're going to marinate it in spices that will give it that smoky, maple flavor of bacon.
- Soy Sauce : Soy sauce gives the tempeh that salty flavor of bacon. I used dark soy sauce, but tamari work well too.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: A little acidic tang cuts through the naturally nutty flavor of tempeh.
- Olive Oil: This will go into the marinade. Once the tempeh is marinated we will bake it in the oven, and the olive oil will allow the tempeh to crisp up, like...well...bacon!
- Maple Syrup: Ever had pancakes, bacon and maple syrup? It's the maple syrup that balances out the saltiness of the bacon and makes the whole thing yum...that's what we're going for here.
- Smoked Paprika: There's two kinds of paprika, smoked and hot...you definitely want smoked for this recipe. Some recipes call for liquid smoke instead of the paprika that I've used here. I've avoided liquid smoke as it can be difficult to find and it's also not the healthiest thing to eat!
- Black Pepper: I think black pepper is so underrated...it really adds a background note to dishes that can't be replicated by another spice. Don't skimp on it in your vegan BLT!
- Salt: Yes, we have some soy sauce here (which is salty), but salty is the primary flavor profile of bacon..so I've added a small amount.
Let's Get Cooking!
This is easy...slice your tempeh thinly and lay it out in a dish. Mix together the marinade and pour it over the tempeh. Turn the tempeh over gently to ensure the its coated in the marinade. Cover the dish with some cling film, and pop it in the fridge. The longer you marinade your tempeh, the more "bacony" it will taste. The minimum amount of time you should marinade it is for an hour. I usually make it the night before I want to use it so it has the whole night to soak up all the yummy flavors.
Now preheat the oven to 350F degrees (175 celcius) The next step is to line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay your marinated tempeh out, spacing them evenly. Cook them for 15 minutes, flip them and cook for a further 15 minutes on the other side. Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the sandwich.
Slice your tomatoes thickly and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Slather your sourdough with mayon and layer the bacon, tomatoes and lettuce. That's it, Enjoy your vegan BLT!!
***Any leftover vegan bacon can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
If you like Vegan BLTs, you might also like:
For the Vegan Bacon
- 8 oz (225 g) tempeh
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For The Sandwich
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
- 1 large tomato thickly sliced
- Handful iceberg lettuce
To Make The Vegan Bacon
- Slice the tempeh into thin slices (about ¼ inch) and lay it out flat in a shallow dish.
- In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, smoked paprika, ground black pepper and salt.
- Pour the marinade over the sliced tempeh. Cover the dish with cling film and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an our
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay the marinated tempeh slices evenly out in rows.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 Celsius).
- Bake the tempeh for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn it over and cook for a further 15 minutes.
- Remove the tempeh from the oven and set aside.
To Make The Sandwich
- Spread the mayo out over one side of each of the slices of sourdough bread.
- Slice the tomato into thick slices and sprinkle them with salt.
- Layer the vegan bacon, salted tomatoes and iceberg lettuce.